Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MD HT I - All Done!

Fear the turtles! And many poor little Beginner Novice horses did. But not our Splish Splash super star, she flew over them and into the water she went. Next stop, novice! She has her game face in in the picture above. Don't let the halter fuzzies fool you. She is fierce!

The intense July sun wasn't the only thing that was hot this weekend, the Blue Clover Eventing Team was on a roll both days at the first MD HT at Loch Moy! We absolutely lucked out the first day, crack of dawn dressage times ended up getting us a great parking spot right in front of the secretary, and more importantly the food booth next to the secretary, and more importantly the smoothie people inside that food booth :) We had a really fun guest with us, one of my dear friends
Amanda who sadly lives across the whole country in AZ; but fun for us to get to entertain her for a day. She is the one responsible for my owning Gunsmoke, so I know many of you love her even though you have never met her! She got to see the Smokes in all of his glory, passed out under the truck and trailer for the entire day. Anyway, it was fun for her to get to be back at an event in Area II, especially one as nice as Loch Moy. I am continually impressed by the reinvestment that Carolyn and her crew put into the facility and it really has become a destination event for a lot of reasons. Sadly however they fill a void in the middle of July when it is blazing hot!

I brought a fleet of ponies all set to move up to the next level and I am happy to say I have a fleet of ponies all set to move up to the next level! Smarty put in yet another (yawn) boringly beautiful dressage test. As he gets stronger, the scores keep going up and up. Hooray! He had another fantastic moment in show jumping - please sense the sarcasm - he was having his best round yet and he went over the liverpool and snap he went into jumper mode. The triple was next and he wanted to make this ridiculous jump off type bid and while I didn't let that happen, it wasn't a distance I would pick on my own, either. He left all of the rails up and finished with a clean round inside the time. It was also the fastest he had been on cross country, double hooray. There were several tricky questions that made you feel like you were on an Int horse. He did both really, really well. I think this track set him up well for the CIC1* at Stuart, and who knows, hopefully an Int shortly hereafter?! He just needs to get a little stronger and then we can go even faster, even with our time faults this weekend we finished 3rd!
The newbie of the crew, Portman aka Lucky, also competed on Saturday and finished 4th in his US eventing debut! This little 4 year old should be a future star for Blue Clover Eventing once he learns that horse shows and horse races are two entirely different things. Horse racing, he was no good at, so he may as well give all that behavior the 'adios' and learn how to be a show horse :) His dressage got better and better especially once we got away from all of the pinto horses in warm up, which he really didn't care for at all and what were the odds that there would be like 10 in the novice warm-up?? On a serious note, he is a ridiculously good jumper, the right balance of forward and careful, and quite a natural athlete. Really works against you when he is leaping and spinning away from cantering horses in warm-up; but I was really thrilled to tool him around the cross country. Look for this guy at Olney and Millbrook.
I guess the star of the show for us was Splash, one of my favorites even though I'm not supposed to have favorites ha ha ha. She went late in the day on Sunday, stepped off of the trailer bright white, not a hair out of place, and bopped herself down to the dressage ring where we got compliment after compliment about how fancy she is. She just does everything with flair, puts in 110% and you know I love horses like that. She was winning handily after the dressage, and then put in a super show jumping round. She isn't a very big horse, probably sticks right at 15.2, and so I have really had to work on her making the horse distances in the jumping lines. She got them this weekend easy easy and what a huge difference that makes, letting our show jumping round now look like a hunter round over jumper jumps. I made the executive decision that we would do the ditch option at fence 6, I figured she would see them next time at novice so she better go ahead and see it this time around. She just flew right over it without thinking twice. I deem her ready for novice at Olney, hope to see you all there!

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